The character in the Pac-Man game goes on running on its hunt for food without requiring any care. But that certainly is not the case for Pacman frogs. Pacman frogs must be taken care of in order to keep them healthy. Since they are amphibians they are highly susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. Generally, they also get parasitic infections so it is very important that proper care is taken in order to keep it healthy. A healthy pacman frog might go on to live for even 10 years. So we must close all possible holes. Several factors should be kept in mind while bringing in a pacman frog as a pet.
Factors to take care while bringing in a pacman frog as a pet
- Diet: Feeding a pacman frog isn’t a difficult task as they eat a variety of things starting from insects, crickets, small fishes, worms, small mice and a range of other items. A fully grown pacman frog can also swallow a big mouse. These frogs are cannibalistic and can eat their mates regardless of their size. In an attempt to eat larger things, they often choke themselves. So it’s important to monitor its surroundings. However, the amount of food to be given is dependent on factors like the size of the frog and the temperature within the place where it is kept. During times of higher temperature, they should be fed more often as compared to times when the temperature is low. Calcium and vitamin supplements should be powdered with insects or crickets and given once or twice a week. For water, they should be given a clean non-chlorinated water bowl.
- Housing: A pacman frog can be kept in a terrarium of 10 gallons. Also, it should be ensured that the substrate should be deep enough around 2 inches because pacmans love to stay buried in the substrate and show just their heads. Ground coconut or soil without chemical additives can be used as a substrate. It should not be completely wet but should have a damp nature. It is also important to choose plants (to be kept inside the terrarium) wisely as the skin of a pacman is very sensitive. Generally, plants with broad leaves like English Ivy can be used. Also, it is important to give some paper or smooth rocks for these frogs to hide because they love places where they can hide.
- Temperature & Humidity: Temperature of the terrarium should be maintained between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Around 10 hours of daylight should be fine and fluorescent lights can also be used. Humidity should be maintained at 60 to 80 percent. These conditions would make the frog feel comfortable and it won’t stress out.
- Behavioural Traits & Temperament: Pacman frogs should be kept absolutely isolated as they could sometimes eat up their own mates. There might be times when the frog could be mistaken for dead. They make their outer skin hard and tough, in order to save themselves from drying out. This might happen when the substrate dries out. Once they rehydrate themselves, they generally shred their skin and just like a Pacman eat their skin themselves.
- Handling: Pacman frogs (just like other frogs) should not be handled at all until and unless it is absolutely necessary. As discussed previously, their skin is very sensitive. Apart from this, pacman frogs have teeth and they would use them to draw blood if touched.
- Breeding: It is not difficult to breed pacman frogs in captivity. But before breeding, both the male and the female require hibernation for a period of 60 days. After that, egg-laying should follow. The pair can be placed together in a terrarium with moss as substrate. Maintain the proper environment for the frogs to feel comfortable and keep them for 2 months. After this, the pair should be transferred to a tank filled with water but it should be shallow so that the frogs can be under water but should be able to breathe. It is important to add aquatic plants where the female can lay eggs. Ideally, the female should lay eggs within four days after which the frogs should be separated immediately as there is a chance they might eat each other.
Pacman Frogs in captivity are very common and are readily available through offline and online vendors. Due to their ease of care and easy availability, pacman frogs make great pets.